GEORGE WALTERS

Obituary of GEORGE WALTERS

WALTERS, George - George Walters, formerly of Thunder Bay and more recently of Simcoe, Ontario, died peacefully in his his sleep Monday January 14 at the age of 89. George was born July 9, 1929 in England. In 1953 he married Mary (nee Carle) and together they had a daughter, Lesley, before immigrating to Toronto in 1958 where he took a position as a professional engineer in the electrical stations department of the Ontario Hydro Commission. A year later, he and his family moved to Kapuskasing to accept a position as electrical maintenance engineer for the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company. His son James was born there in 1959.George spent 11 years there with his wife Mary, and two children. Always an avid sports enthusiast, he volunteered much of his free time as president of both Kapuskasing's tennis and badminton clubs. He could also be found at the local track, having served for 6 years as chairman of the Royal Canadian Legion's District "K" track and field program for Northern Ontario. Walters stressed that sport wasn't just for the elite athlete. His philosophy was that all children like to run, jump and throw and his involvement with sports at the elementary schools level track and field events as well as his promotion of cross-country events for youth of all ages helped hundreds of youngsters in this small northern town experience sport. In 1970 George and his family moved once again to Thunder Bay, taking a position as Electrical superintendent at Great Lakes Paper Mill. Almost immediately he began to coach badminton and tennis at local clubs and schools. It wasn't long before he was also fully involved with the Royal Canadian Legion Sports Foundation and Legion Athletic Camps. He proved to be an invaluable ambassador to the Royal Canadian Legion as chairman of its Northwestern Ontario sports foundation for 18 years. One of his mandates was to encourage young athletes to attend the International Peace Gardens Athletic camp, which is located in Manitoba and offers training in a variety of sports. In 1981 he acted as head official for the Canada Summer Games, training more that 60 judges, a two year project. He volunteered at six summer games and five winter games. He was the official starter for hundreds of local races as well as the annual Legion 10 miler. Once he retired, George was able to continue his involvement with many local sports in Thunder Bay. In September 2003, at the age of 74, George was recognized for his outstanding contribution to local sports and inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Hall of Fame as a 'builder'. This honour was one of the highlights of his life and a testament to the generous amount of time he willingly gave to his community. He went on to volunteer in any capacity he could until his mid eighties. Thanks must be given to special friends Irene and Brian Pawson, without whom George could not have managed as long as he did independently in his home. They, along with several caring, and kind neighbours, graciously and unselfishly gave of their time and energy to see that he had rides to appointments and food in the fridge, and dropped by to check on him regularly and often. Unfailingly, these true friends offered assistance with driveway shovelling, lawn cutting, and anything else that might come along. He moved in April 2018 to a retirement home in the Simcoe area to be closer to family. He was always gregarious and friendly and always had stories to share. In the few months that he spent in Simcoe, he made several new friends. He spent the summer months planting and watering the communal garden, sharing the bounty of tomatoes and peppers that he grew with the entire home. George lived a long and very full life, packing as much living into every hour of every day as he possibly could. When his health began to fail he accepted things as they were, and was never once heard to complain. Pre-deceased by his wife Mary (2017), grandson Andrew McLean, and brother Patrick, George is survived by his daughter Lesley, son James, (Heather, and grandsons Lee, Billy and Tanner), and two brothers Peter and Leonard, in England. He is also survived by sister-in-law Gloria Stevenson (Willie)and nephew Martin, Kapuskasing. Cremation has taken place with a ceremony in Thunder Bay planned for a later date. Those wishing to make a donation in Georges' memory might consider a charity that supports sports for youth. Funeral arrangements are entrusted with THOMPSON-MOTT FUNERAL HOME, Waterford 519-443-5332. Online condolences at www.thompsonmottfuneralhome.com

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